#Quiltedprayerrugs

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Like many people I was shocked and hurt when I heard of the shooting in Quebec and mosque burning in Texas and my gut instinct was to try to help.  I didn’t know what I could do until my friend Tracy Mooney from Generation Q Magazine had the idea of making prayer rugs.  I have volunteered to be the collector of prayer rugs in Ontario.  If you would like to contribute or know of a Mosque in Ontario , please feel free to reach out to me at toni@quiltoni.com.

Reprinted with permission from Generation Q Magazine:

CAN A QUILT BE USED AS A PRAYER RUG?

TRACY • FEBRUARY 03, 2017

#QUILTEDPRAYERRUGS

Quilters know better than any other group that fabric often builds a bridge between people that is stronger than steel. This is proven time and again by quilt drives to help comfort victims of natural and not-so-natural disasters, such as 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, last year’s Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando, Florida, or the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Then there are the families who lost homes in the Colorado wildfires and the Haitian earthquakes and storms. (It’s so painful that we can just go on and on with recent examples.)

For every one of these events, and so many others, we’ve watched and participated as the call for quilts was rallied and answered. These quilts are always made and sent with the most basic of motives: to let the recipient know he or she is cared about. Regardless of religious/sexual/political creed or preferences, these quilts are simply offered as literal and figurative comfort.

So last week, when a mosque was burned to the ground in Victoria, Texas, and six Muslims were shot and killed unexpectedly in a Quebec mosque, that familiar let’s-make-a-quilt impulse surfaced.

That impulse got stronger for our senior editor Tracy Mooney as she watched news coverage of a local legislative outreach event in Austin, Texas. The event was Muslim Capitol Day, a day on which Austin Muslim school kids visit the Texas Capitol to learn about government. Two years ago, this event was interrupted by Christian extremists chanting “Muhammad is dead” and sabotaging the microphone to denounce the religious beliefs of this small group of Muslim American kids. As this year’s event date approached, there was plenty of concern about repeat harassment. About 500 people were expected to attend, and organizers were wary. Instead, 2,000 showed up, with hundreds of volunteers forming a protective human chain around the Capitol building so attendees could peacefully have their event.

“It made me think about all of the Muslims I interact with in my life, Americans who have lived here all their lives who are coming under attack because of the actions of religious extremists,” Tracy says. “What could I do to show them support? Could a quilt be a prayer rug? Is that a kind gesture? Or inappropriate?”

Tracy shared her thoughts with the Generation Q staff and with her friends on Facebook. To say the idea grew legs is an understatement. And so we are announcing the #QuiltedPrayerRugs initiative.

Now, the Generation Q staff members hold very diverse political views and religious traditions. We don’t always agree on everything. But we DO agree that–at least for us–we often feel connected to God as we make quilts, especially for others. And we believe that connection finds its way into the stitches.

“I connect with God deeply while I’m making,” says Teri Lucas, our associate editor. “And I like to think someone else can connect with God on my quilts.”

Prayer quilts–sort of a sub-niche in the gifted quilt tradition–are not an innovation. Groups in countless churches and houses of worship in the United States and other countries make quilts that are blessed, prayed over and given to people struggling with health or life problems. A quilt used as prayer rug is merely a variation. And it is not a stamp of approval on any political view; it is a symbol that the recipient is cared about.

Want to get involved by making a quilted prayer rugs? Here are the basics:

 

Guidelines for a quilted prayer rug should be:

  • 24″ x 48″ to 30″ x 48″
  • Use solids or blender prints. Flowers and leaves are fine. Avoid fabrics that contain motifs that resemble humans or animals.
  • Geometric designs would work beautifully, but any design is appreciated.
  • Use bright colors. Green is considered spiritual. Cobalt blue is also a commonly used color.
  • Finished like any quilt, with batting, backing and binding or fully enclosed edges.
  • Dark fabric for the backing may be a good choice since the quilt will be laid on the floor.

At this point, we suggest that donations of quilts be made to mosques located in your city or state. This way you can meet new people and find out what they really need and offer support.

We DO want to make sure quilted prayer rugs get sent to Quebec and Victoria; complete details of that aspect are still developing. For now, please send these quilts to Lovebug Studios, 1862 E. Belvidere Road. PMB 388. Grayslake, IL 60030. We will keep you posted as to what the needs are as soon as we have more information. Email Tracy if you would like to donate funds for shipping. We will likely need approximately $10 per quilt to get the quilts to their recipients.

International author and quilt artist Linda M. Poole reached out after reading about the idea of prayer quilt rugs. She shared her own experiences with Turkey, a nation where the majority of the population is Muslim.

“I was invited by the Minister of Culture of Turkey to represent America in their first Peace with Quilts quilt show back in 2000. Since that time, I have been back to Turkey four times to study the culture and the artworks, hence my first book long ago was Turkish Delights to Applique. I have been to many mosques to study them and also have many Muslim friends there,” she says. For prayer rugs, she recommends anything colorful and easily rolled up for carrying.

Author/quilter/designer Latifah Saafir, who was raised Muslim, says prayer rugs are often very colorful (green was said to be the Prophet Muhammad’s fave color) and that geometric designs and patterns would be perfect. No fabrics or designs that resemble humans or animals would be suitable. (Our thought: This might be a perfect project for blenders.)

If you would like to volunteer to collect quilts for distribution, please email tracy @ generationqmagazine.com.

UPDATE: Toni Smith, of quiltoni.com and Craft Hackers, has volunteered to be the collection point for Ontario Canada. Contact her via email, toni@quiltoni.com.

Quilt. Sew. Live. Breathe. Pray.


Cuddle + Kind

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I was recently introduced to Cuddle + Kind.

From their website:

We’re a family of five on a mission to help feed children in need.

There’s nothing we love more than being parents. We think nurturing our three children is the most important, rewarding and sometimes challenging job in the world!

With a background in health, we recognize the crucial role nutrition plays in a child’s development. As parents, we believe all children should have enough food to eat and the opportunity to thrive, so when we saw a documentary on the devastating impact of childhood hunger on millions of children around the world, it inspired us to help. On that day, we decided to start a company whose purpose is to help improve the lives of children and to make a difference.

We created cuddle+kind because we wanted to make beautiful hand-knit dolls that help feed children. So for every cuddle+kind doll sold, we give 10 meals to children in need.

Our goal is to provide one million meals a year.

We’re proud that our dolls are made with natural, high-quality cotton because it’s important to us that they’re safe, soft and cuddly.

We’re also super proud that every doll is lovingly handcrafted by incredible women artisans in Peru, providing them with a sustainable, fair trade income.

Our whole family is passionate about what we’re doing and loves every doll we make. We sincerely hope you will too.

I was excited to find a company that created hand made dolls (while providing fair trade income) that also supported such a worthy cause.  The company and cause are great, but what about the dolls?

At only $55 for the small and $75 for the large doll, the price is great too.  I know first hand the hard work that goes into creating hand made goods.  The price tells me that they are definitely hand made, but they aren’t charging too much.

Take a look at their entire line of dolls and see if there is something you can do to help.

-Toni

 


Honoring Veterans

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I had the pleasure of listening to Carol Miller who works closely with Veterans here in my home town of London, Ontario.  It was interesting to listen to the history of the veterans hospital and the issues facing them today.  She was there to ask us to make and donate quilts to the Veterans of the hospital.  Her talk got me thinking though about the other ways crafty people can help.

There are a ton of different quilt programs out there to benefit veterans and soldiers and I try to donate when I can.  Some of these programs include:

Quilts of Honor

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Quilts of Valor

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American Hero Quilts

There are of course many, many others that are just as worthy and amazing.  But what about the other ways we can help if we don’t sew?

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Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) provides Arts and Crafts Kits that help recovering veterans by keeping their hands active and minds alert.  HHV Craft Kits are uniquely designed to bring pleasure, healing and purpose back into the lives of veterans and military personnel.  You can get involved and help Veterans receive these kits.

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Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene, and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits,  Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home.

There are a lot of great organizations that help soldiers and veterans.  Take a look around your home town at the services and hospitals.  They would love to have anything you can donate.  If you are in the London, Ontario area, feel free to reach out to me to see how you can help us create the quilts for the Veterans in our city.

-Toni


Donation Quilts for Pulse Orlando Victims

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If you are a quilter and sewer and want to do something different to support the victims of the Pulse shooting, here is a way you can help.

Hearts heart3

The Orlando Modern Quilt guild is collecting special quilts to give to the survivors and victims families.  They are looking for donations of quilts that use hearts as the basis of the quilt.  There are a ton of great tutorials for heart blocks in the link they provide below.

Here are some of the questions and their answers from the guild page:

1. Where do I send this stuff? 
All mail will go to my salon. Its a commercial address and that mailman will probably hate me a bit since he’s a walking mailman, but he’s super fit and may just like the extra weight in his mailbag 😉 Please send all mail to the following:
Alissa Lapinsky
c/o A List Hair Salon
106 South Woodland Blvd
Suite B
DeLand, FL 32720
Please include a full sized piece of paper with your name, guild if a member (even not modern guilds!), what you’ve sent, and location so that I can (attempt) to keep track of everyone who helps.
2. I’m not a member of a guild, can I still help??
Ummmm….YES! This is a project that I started so that anyone who isn’t scared of a sewing machine can do. I didn’t want it to just be our guild, as a matter of fact I’d love any and everyone who could possibly help, to do so.
3. What if I can’t make a whole quilt?
Than make a block, even one block will help. Send in some binding, send some backing fabric, send some money (we will need it for postage as some victims families aren’t in the area), just repost or share in solidarity, give us a virtual high five or hug. It all helps.
4. I already have a quilt that is rainbow-y and made with love, can I send it?
Do you seriously think I’m going to say no, don’t give me a quilt??!! Because I won’t. Send it. Please send it, we need a lot of quilts. While I offered a specific block, it was mostly bc of its size and simplicity so more people could take part in this.
5. Can I use a block other than the one you showed?
By all means, do your thing. I chose the block so everyone could take part. I know there are plenty of heart blocks out there and feel free to use anything you’d like. I only ask that your quilt includes a heart or hearts of some sort, and that its mostly brights and/or rainbow. I chose brights and rainbow to represent not only the LGBT flag, but also ALL of the different people affected by the event. I also want them to be cheerful, and want the recipients to know that these are created with love, given with love, and in using them, they will be covered with love. I want them to be comforted knowing that even strangers care and that they did not go through this without the support of others.
6. How big should my quilt be?
I’m asking for quilts no smaller than 48×60, and no larger than a twin sized. If you’re off a smidge, please don’t worry. The quilt police wont throw your quilt back at you and tell you you’re horrible. We will accept them all. I just don’t want some people to get small lap quilts, and some to get queen sized monstrosities.
7. Whats the due date?
We are asking for blocks to be sent BY August 15th. We will need what is most likely a LOT of time to sew all these blocks together, so the sooner we get them, the better! Finished quilts obviously take a bit longer and we are asking for those by September 15th.
8. Where are these things going?
My original thought was to the survivors in the hospital. Than it grew and I thought maybe to the victims families as well. Now I think we will have enough to even give to first responders that were on the scene, police officers, nurses, doctors, hopefully anyone that wants one. If there are leftovers, they will be given to either The Center, an LGBT community center who is pretty much ground zero for the help, and also the Zebra Coalition who focuses their efforts on LGBT youth. Hopefully any and everyone affected will receive a quilt if they want one. We are still making contacts, so if you are personally affected by this please email me at alissalapinsky@gmail.com so we can work to get one to you!
9. Anything else I should know??
Please tag your completed quilts or send a tag with a completed quilt top! I’d like each quilt to have two tags, one for who created it, and one for the general quilty movement 🙂
Our mothership, The (national) Modern Quilt Guild has compiled a nifty information page for us that they have shared with all their members, and it includes some other blocks that may inspire you as well as a few forms. One form is to fill out if you’re planning on sending so we have at least a vague idea of how many blocks/quilts we will be receiving, and one is a form that you can fill out to send in with your submission.
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So please consider donating to this amazing cause.  Every bit of love we can give to the survivors and victims families will help.  If you would like to donate blocks or fabric and send a bundle of quilts from Craft Hackers you can contact me at tnitnetny@yahoo.com for my address to send them.
-Toni

Sprite Stitch Child’s Play Charity Quilt

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A month ago I told you about the charity quilt the folks over at Sprite Stitch created using cross stitched squares.  The raffle culminates today at 5pm est.

Child's Play 2014-2

Members of the Sprite Stitch community spent an entire year cross stitching their favorite video game scenes. These cross stitches were combined into two quilts. The first quilt was auctioned at the Penny Arcade dinner auction November of 2014. You have the opportunity to win the second quilt, a one of a kind creation valued at over $5,000. This is the fourth year these quilts have been created. No two squares will ever be alike from year to year. All proceeds from this raffle will go to Child’s Play.

I will hold the random draw live through Hang With. If you would like to watch the drawing live log in to the Craft Hacker channel https://www.hangwith.com/user/crafthackers before 5pm est today. Or to be notified when Craft Hackers streams live make sure to follow us.

Raffle tickets are only $3 a piece or $5 for 3 tickets.  To buy your own raffle tickets or to view each of the squares close up look at the raffle here.  You only have until 4:30pm est today to buy those tickets!  Then I am creating the spreadsheet and setting everything up for the live raffle!  See you tonight!

-Toni


Sprite Stitch Child’s Play Charity Quilt

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It is that time of year when I do something with the second quilt I made that benefits Child’s Play.

Child's Play 2014-2

Members of the Sprite Stitch community spent an entire year cross stitching their favorite video game scenes. These cross stitches were combined into two quilts. The first quilt was auctioned at the Penny Arcade dinner auction November of 2014. You have the opportunity to win the second quilt, a one of a kind creation valued at over $5,000. This is the fourth year these quilts have been created. No two squares will ever be alike from year to year. All proceeds from this raffle will go to Child’s Play.

The raffle will be held Saturday August 8th at 5pm. I will hold the random draw live through Hang With. If you would like to watch the drawing live log in to the Craft Hacker channel at https://www.hangwith.com/user/crafthackers. Or to be notified when Craft Hackers streams live make sure to follow us.

Raffle tickets are only $3 a piece or $5 for 3 tickets.  To buy your own raffle tickets or to view each of the squares close up look at the raffle here.

-Toni